Above: The mudslide pie that has dazzled judges and delighted diners for many yummy years.
“The older I get, the less secrets I have,” says Deb Cazavilan, owner and culinary instructor at Wooden Spoons Workshops. That’s why, not long ago, she decided to divulge one of her best-kept cooking secrets: The recipe for her Ankeny Mudslide Pie.
The recipe first gained fame when, as a newcomer to Iowa’s food scene, Cazavilan won Best of Show for the pie in Ankeny’s first annual “Art in the Park” culinary competition. That was in 1993. “The pie was named for the great flood of ’93, from which we were all reeling,” she explains.
Quickly winning devoted fans, the pie was a hit at Cazavilan’s subsequent businesses and restaurants, including Cappuccinos, Just Desserts and the Little Blue House. The recipe itself, however, remained a closely guarded secret for nearly 25 years. In fact, sometime in the ’90s, when Bon Appetit magazine solicited the recipe for their RSVP column, Cazavilan declined (despite the windfall of national publicity it would offer). At some point, the famous pie even required Cazavilan to “lawyer up” to retain her right to sell the dessert.
That’s some recipe. Indeed, also known as “The Moaner,” this confection brings chocolate truffle-fudge filling in a buttery pastry, topped with caramel and glazed with dark chocolate ganache.
Classes will be offered Dec. 10-12, also Dec. 14-15. Times vary, so check the schedule. Each class will take 2 1/2 hours as Cazavilan demonstrates the pie-making process step-by-step from beginning to end. Each participant will take home a pie and detailed instructions. “All secrets will be revealed,” she says.
Wooden Spoons Workshops is at 1855 N.W. 84th Ave., Ankeny. 515-577-9937; woodenspoonsworkshops.com.
Wini Moranville, who writes about cooking, wine and dining for dsm, is on Facebook at All Things Food DSM.